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Federer opens with a win in Halle

Five-time champion and two-time runner-up Roger Federer was an easy second-round winner Wednesday at the $900,000 Gerry Weber Open, a grass-court Wimbledon tune-up.

The top-seeded former world No. 1 superstar handled wild card and Germany's own Cedrik-Marcel Stebe 6-3, 6-3 in 67 minutes for his 40th match win at Gerry Weber Stadium.

The seven-time overall and reigning Wimbledon titlist Federer was stunned by German favorite Tommy Haas in last year's Halle finale -- the Swiss legend's seventh final here.

Federer's quarterfinal opponent on Friday will be another German, Mischa Zverev.

Meanwhile, Russian veteran Mikhail Youzhny ousted fourth-seeded rising Japanese Kei Nishikori 6-1, 6-7 (4-7), 6-3 on Day 3.

In other second-round action, Zverev got past Bosnian lucky loser Mirza Basic 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 and former world No. 7 Frenchman Gael Monfils drubbed Czech Jan Hernych 6-2, 6-3. After his Wednesday match, Monfils said he would miss the 2013 Wimbledon event because of personal reasons.

In some second-round action on Thursday, second-seeded Richard Gasquet of France will tangle with veteran Austrian left-hander Jurgen Melzer and the third-seeded reigning champion Haas will take on talented Latvian Ernests Gulbis. Haas captured this event last year and in 2009.

This week's winner will earn $163,000.